Fires

He was fighting the fast-moving Klamathon Fire. Then flames swept over his engine

Time lapse of Klamathon Fire’s rapid growth

A time lapse showing the Klamathon Fire near the California-Oregon border. The blaze started Thursday in Siskiyou County and had burned more than 21,000 acres by Saturday morning.
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A time lapse showing the Klamathon Fire near the California-Oregon border. The blaze started Thursday in Siskiyou County and had burned more than 21,000 acres by Saturday morning.

Cal Fire firefighter Brandon Feller was battling fast-moving flames the day the deadly Klamathon Fire broke out.

Then the fire, driven by 35- to 40-mph winds, overtook his engine.

He suffered severe burns to his face and had to be flown to UC Davis' burn center, according to KOBI.

Feller "is recovering well, considering the injuries," reads the GoFundMe page set up to help the firefighter. "Cal Fire has been nothing but amazing and supportive, and we are overwhelmed by the brotherhood and support services they have provided."

On Sunday night, Cal Fire said Feller had been released from the hospital.

Phil Anzo, Cal Fire Siskiyou Unit chief, told the Redding Record Searchlight that Feller "may be released from the hospital sooner than they thought he would be released."

Anzo added that Feller's "spirits are high," according to the newspaper. On Sunday night, Cal Fire said Feller had been released from the hospital.

As of Sunday afternoon, the GoFundMe had raised $28,395 of a $25,000 goal, and organizers asked anyone wishing to donate to give to the Firefighters Burn Institute.

The Klamathon Fire started on July 5 in Northern California and had burned about 30,500 acres as of Sunday morning. It was 25 percent contained. One civilian has died, and three firefighters have been injured.

It's the first California wildfire to kill a civilian since last December.

More than 2,300 personnel were assigned to the fire as of Sunday morning. The majority of the fire was burning in California, but part of the fire burned in timber-heavy, steep-sloped areas of Oregon.

The blaze, which prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in Siskiyou County, has destroyed 72 buildings as of Sunday morning. Nine more buildings have been damaged by the wildfire and 810 are threatened — 600 of which are homes, Cal Fire said. Also threatened are Yreka and Hornbrook's water systems, according to Cal Fire.

Sacramento Bee reporter Jordan Cutler-Tietjen contributed to this report.

Travelers on southbound I-5 encounter smoke and burn areas from the Klamathon wildfire at the California-Oregon border on Saturday, July 7, 2018. The highway reopened Friday morning after it was shut down Thursday due to the fire hazard.



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